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  • Writer's pictureCristina Waldner

"911, what’s your emergency?”

Flowers are exactly the life-affirming vibe you need in a dingy hospital room 💐💐

It’s been about a month since I’ve been home from the hospital and about 5 weeks since the desperate need for oxygen brought me to the ER via ambulance. Calling 911 is a phone call one hopes never to make but in the early morning hours one day in January, I…Just…Could…Not…Breathe…

As I heard the siren of the first responders, what I thought would be dread was such relief. I was in complete respiratory distress, with my lungs in the process of shutting down. I needed medical assistance but I was in shock. How had it come to this? Looking back, I can see where it all started to go wrong.

Having Covid this past November and a bad cold right after Christmas had left me painfully weak. Whatever this new sickness was, it was kicking my lungs’ butt in a way I don’t remember quite experiencing before. My breathing was shallow, raspy and extremely laboured, sounding eerily similar to Tolkien’s orcs.

For several days leading up to the 911 call and hospitalization, I could not get even a few minutes rest. Every time I started to fall asleep my lungs would stick on the exhale, not allowing air to come back into the body. I would jolt awake, gasping for air.

On that awful night, it was going from bad to worse… fast. My dad started doing CPR with a resuscitation bag (shown below). Thankfully we even had such equipment on hand. I occasionally used it for lung exercises, never once thinking we would use it to save my life. We estimate he did over 400 pumps of air because I couldn’t breathe on my own.

I cannot find adequate words to express the gratitude I feel for the first responders, paramedics, nurses, and doctors who helped me in my recovery for what we later found out was Influenza A. They were amazing, as were my warrior parents! While my hospitalization was not without complications and a serious bed shortage, I am so thankful for the people who were by my side.

Since being home, my recovery is painfully slow and not straightforward. But… I can breathe again and that is something to celebrate!! 🙏🏻

4 comentarios

09 mar

Hi Cristina, I didn't see this until now as my email was down. It's good to hear that you're home now, it must be so comforting to be home again. It's amazing how your Dad thought of using something on hand to relieve your breathing! What a hero! And we know how safe it feels when first responders come and they are people we know, familiar faces, so kind and respectful and ready to help. They know exactly what to do. Sending love and hugs from Jacque E.

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Raquel Friesen
Raquel Friesen
26 feb

Wow Cris, what an incredibly scary thing to go through. Thank you for sharing your story, you are so brave. So glad you are on the mend. Love you 💕

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25 feb

So thankful you’re home and praying for your recovery. Also thankful for the first responders and the paramedics. It’s not so scary calling them when they come into your home knowing exactly what to do and show kindness and respect.

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Brandi Siemens
Brandi Siemens
24 feb

I’m so thankful you are recovering. Such a scary time 😢❤️

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